Anaheim Ducks: Grading Bob Murray’s Trade Deadline Moves

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 23: Brandon Montour #26 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on January 23, 2019 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 23: Brandon Montour #26 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during the game against the St. Louis Blues on January 23, 2019 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Anaheim Ducks made a few moves this year at the Trade Deadline. Today, we analyze these trades and give Bob Murray his final grades.

This year’s trade deadline was chalked full of exciting, yet surprising moves. Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel were traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wayne Simmonds has a new home with the Nashville Predators. The San Jose Sharks acquired Gustav Nyquist from the Detroit Red Wings. However, in typical Bob Murray fashion, at least in recent seasons, the Anaheim Ducks were relatively quiet at the trade deadline.

Although, he did make a few moves that can only mean one thing; Bob Murray has embraced the idea of a retool. While the Brandon Montour trade was certainly shocking in some aspects, it is not a franchise changing move. Nor are the trades involving Brian Gibbons and Michael Del Zotto.

Nevertheless, despite how small these trades may seem, they will still have an impact on the team and the future of the franchise. Bob Murray did his research and made his moves, but did he make the grade?

Brandon Montour for Brendan Guhle and a 2019 1st Round Draft Pick

Grade: B

Bob Murray has been preaching all season that he wants his team to get younger and faster. Although Brandon Montour is only 24-years-old, he is at the point in his career where he is set in his ways. Brendan Guhle, at 21, is at an age where he is still developing and really coming into his own. He can still work on finding the right style that suits him and the Anaheim Ducks, whether that’s being more of an offensively or defensively minded defenseman.

With the addition of a first-round draft pick, the Ducks get to add more talent to their team that is younger and more acclimated to a faster system of hockey. While it is going to be a late first-round pick, may we not forget that Bob Murray has had extreme success drafting late in the first round, as well as later rounds.

The argument can be made that Bob Murray has depleted his blue line over the past few seasons, losing Shea Theodore, Sami Vatanen, Marcus Pettersson, and now, Brandon Montour.

However, something had to give. With a retool on the horizon, Montour became the easiest asset to move in order for the Anaheim Ducks to prepare for the future and move forward with getting younger, faster, and more competitive.

There are still a lot of unknowns with how this trade will affect the team down the line. No one knows how Brandon Montour will perform in Buffalo and there is no insight into how effective Brendan Ghule or the first round draft pick will be for the Anaheim Ducks. Right now, it’s a wait and see kind of game, but all in all, this trade has a lot of upside the Ducks and the Sabres.

Brian Gibbons for Patrick Sieloff

Grade: D+

The fact that Bob Murray even got anything for Brian Gibbons is absolutely amazing. Just a few days earlier, the Anaheim Ducks put Gibbons on waivers and no one picked him up. Yet, for some reason, on the eve of the Trade Deadline, the Ottawa Senators decided to enter trade negotiations with the Anaheim Ducks for him.

This trade doesn’t affect the Ducks very much, seeing how it is more of an AHL transaction on their end. Patrick Sieloff is younger and a lot cheaper than Gibbons, and he can certainly help the San Diego Gulls if they attempt to make a run for the Calder Cup. At this point in his career, however, it is unlikely that he will make the jump into a full-time NHL position.

The Ottawa Senators didn’t get much in return either. After trading away all of their valuable assets this season, acquiring Gibbons isn’t going to help them out in any way. His time with the Ducks has proven that he is well past his prime and will never contribute to the NHL at the same level he did in the NCAA or AHL way back when. So, all in all, this trade doesn’t add much value to either team.

Michael Del Zotto for a 6th Round Draft Pick

Grade: C

Michael Del Zotto wasn’t given much of a chance with the Anaheim Ducks. After being acquired by the Ducks from Vancouver, he played only 12 games with his new team. Nevertheless, acquiring Del Zotto gave Bob Murray the chance to move Luke Schenn, which seemed like good news at the time.

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However, Del Zotto failed to impress and it was clear pretty early on that he did not fit into Bob Murray’s plan for the future of the franchise. So, Bargain Bob being who he is, knew he could get a little something in exchange for the aging defenseman.

With all eyes on the 2019 Draft, the reality that the Anaheim Ducks were missing two draft picks didn’t seem to bode well for their future. Adding a first-round pick in the Montour trade was genius. While a sixth-round pick seems insignificant, Murray went from missing a seventh-round pick to gaining an opportunity to add one more draftee to his prospect pool come June.

Besides, who knows how a late-round draft pick will turn out? Look at players like Ondrej Kase and Troy Terry. Both were chosen in the later rounds of their draft class and now they are both going to be significant pieces in the future of the Anaheim Ducks franchise.

Next. After the Trade: Where Are They Now?. dark

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